Of Founders’ furrowed brows and Brownstein’s fretting words

July 4, 2013

I have not one doubt in my mind that if the Founding Fathers were around today, their brows would be furrowed and sadness and bewilderment be upon their faces.

And one and all, they would have but one, single question: What have we done to their beloved nation?

Yes, in terms of civil rights, economics, and technology we have advanced beyond the wildest dreams of their day, but in terms of the core beliefs, the values, the principles this great nation was founded upon and for which they sacrificed so much, we are failing miserably.

Too harsh? I think not.

A few recent examples from our educational corner:

school administrators going apoplectic over a second grader’s pop tart “gun”

a 14 year old being criminally charged for refusing to take of an NRA shirt

a 19 year old college student told to remove her cross necklace lest it “offend” someone

an Eagle Scout suspended for being honest and doing the right thing

our nation’s supposed institutions of higher learning hiring domestic terrorists

And from our ever “benevolent” government corner:

an IRS suppressing the free speech rights of those not of approved political persuasion

an FBI that is supposed to be investigating said IRS stalling and dodging

an Attorney General and Department of Justice criminalizing journalists

an NSA collecting and archiving information on everyone and everything

a State Department spending $630k on Facebook “likes” while Benghazi 4 left to die

an HHS secretary directly stomping all over religious liberties

a President so steeped in ideology, executive fiat runs roughshod over the rule of law

Yet the greatest problem we face is not the hypothetical disgust our Founders would hold for our societal self-destruction, it is the very harsh reality that far, far too many Americans just don’t care.

As the great philosopher Pogo stated: “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

I could pen thousands upon thousands of words opining “what would the Founders think?”, but in a society so engrossed in self, so enamored with celebrity, so ignorant of its own history, not one word would fall upon anything but deaf ears.

Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin don’t stand a chance against Honey Boo Boo, Jodi Arias, or the Kardashian clan. A bunch of old white guys in wigs debating the finer points of self-governance doesn’t stand a chance against bling and things.

But the danger of such historical ignorance is real, it is present and it is taking its toll.

Consider this opening of Ronald Brownstein’s latest column in the National Journal, “Red, Divided and Blue Fly This Indepence Day”:

It seems entirely revealing, if dispiriting, that the days before the July Fourth holiday showed Red America and Blue America pulling apart at an accelerating rate.

Of all of our national holidays, Independence Day is the one most intimately rooted in our common history and shared experience. Yet this year it arrives against a background of polarization, separation, and confrontation in the states and Washington alike. With municipal politics as the occasional exception, the pattern of solidifying agreement within the parties—and widening disagreement between them—is dominating our decisions at every level.

On almost all of our major policy choices, the common thread is that the election of 2012 did not “break the fever” of polarization, as President Obama once hoped it might. Last November, Obama became only the third Democrat in the party’s history to win a majority of the popular vote twice. But congressional Republicans, preponderantly representing the minority that voted against Obama, have conceded almost nothing to his majority—leaving the two sides at a stalemate. Meanwhile, beyond the Beltway, states that lean Democratic and those that lean Republican are separating at a frenetic pace.

By every account, Mr. Brownstein is an intelligent, accomplished and respected journalist. The Editorial Director of the National Journal he has twice been a finalist for the coveted Pulitzer and his peers have awarded him numerous other awards.

Yet for all his awards, for all his accomplishments, for all his supposed intelligence, he shows exactly the kind of historical ignorance and blindness to context that is widening the very division he claims to despise.

He opens with a view of our political history that is Pollyannish at best, intentionally misleading at worst. American history according to Brownstein is but year after year of blessed political peace and tranquility, except for the most recent few which are being ruined by a few obstinate congressional Republicans.

It would be laughable were it not so scary.

Bemoaning that polarization has not dissipated following his hero’s re-election, he attempts to buttress Obama’s “mandate” with the fact that only two other Democrats in the history of the party won a majority of the popular vote twice. Fact yes, relevant no.

Mr. Brownstein seems beside himself that Republicans, who, after all, only represent “the minority that voted against Obama”, are not conceding to Obama’s “majority”.

But perhaps the most telling of Mr. Brownstein’s historical ignorance is his “the sky is falling” attitude regarding the political alignments in the states.

I will never be one of Mr. Brownstein’s elite journalistic “peers” but even I know that what is taking place across the country today is exactly as the Founders intended so many yesterdays ago.

It’s called Federalism and it’s the greatest threat to the “majority” mob rule that the Obama’s and Brownstein’s of the world so desperately want to impose upon us.

Right now, those “obstinate congressional Republicans” are the closest thing we’ve got to political patriots.

In 2010 America behaved in just the way the Founders intended. Obama and his big government march was stopped in its tracks as vote after vote fired back at the unprecedented power grab. Yes, two years later he won re-election with a coalition bound by fear and jealousy, but so too did all those “minority” Republicans.

And thank God they did.

Just two years of Obama’s “majority” rule wrought upon this nation a trillion dollar money laundering scheme, an anything but Affordable Care Act, a “reform” of the banking industry that is crippling small and medium banks in favor of still “too big to fail” behemoths, “cash for clunkers” that hurt most the working poor by decimating the used car market, and those are just the “successes”.

Do we dare even think of the damage to this great Republic if Obama gains control of the legislative branch again? Are the thousands upon thousands of pages of regulations and mandates pouring forth from unaccountable executive agencies not enough?

The single most dangerous threat facing America today, is not whether states are becoming more “blue” or “red”.

It is the same threat it has always been.

It is what the Founders warned of more than any other and it is more relevant today than at any time since the Revolution.

It is a a tyrannical, one party “majority” government usurping power and forcing its will upon the people it was established to serve.

If America ever does reach the point of a 2nd Revolution, it will not be the cause of “red” states, it will be squarely the fault of politicians and “journalists” who put party and agenda above Constitution and Country.

Happy Independence Day all and yes, God bless the United States of America.

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